Castaic brush fire chars 3,000 acres, prompts evacuations

CASTAIC, Calif. (KABC) -- Firefighters battled a fast-moving brush fire in Castaic, which charred 3,000 acres and prompted evacuations Saturday.

The fire, dubbed the Charlie Fire, was reported shortly before 3 p.m. in the 31000 block of Charlie Canyon Road.

The blaze started around 3 acres and then quickly grew to 100, fire officials said. The fire eventually exploded to about 3,000 acres and reached 10 percent containment.

"The firefighters on scene made an aggressive attack and we're doing pretty well. Right now, we have two copters in the air - one copter doing drops. We have a number of strike teams all throughout the ridge watching the fire, making sure it doesn't jump," Inspector Joey Marron said.

Fire crews said four helicopters, two super scoopers, and several fixed-wing aircraft aided in the fight during the day. At night, two helicopters remained to help with overnight water drops.

Evacuation orders were issued for San Francisquito Canyon Road, with 20-50 homes affected near Camp 14. The road is closed from Camp 14 to Lowridge Place.

An evacuation center was set up at Castaic Sports Complex, 31210 Castaic Road. Small animals were welcome at the center, but larger animals were asked to be sent to AV Fairgrounds.

Lake Hughes Road from Ridge Route to Dry Gulch was closed.

Temperatures in the area hit 96 degrees amid 21 percent humidity and light winds, but fire officials noted wind gusts reached up to 19 mph.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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